Donald Trump President
December 6, 2011 by staff
Donald Trump President, NEW York real estate billionaire Donald Trump has been accused of turning the Republican presidential campaign into a circus after pressuring the candidates to attend a debate with himself as the moderator.
Mr Trump, who hosts reality TV show The Apprentice, was savaged yesterday by senior Republicans who claimed he wanted to thrust himself into the nomination process as a kingmaker.
Karl Rove, a former adviser to president George W. Bush, urged the Republican National Committee to demand a halt to Mr Trump’s planned debate on December 27 – a week before the first caucuses vote in Iowa to select a party candidate.
Mr Rove was scathing about the prospect of the candidates appearing at a debate hosted by Mr Trump, especially after the tycoon suggested he could run as an independent candidate if dissatisfied with the chosen nominee.
Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer called Mr Trump’s debate plan an “invitation to a circus” and urged the candidates not to attend.
Mr Trump is trying to woo the Republican hopefuls to attend a debate in Des Moines, Iowa, sponsored by the conservative website Newsmax.
So far only Newt Gingrich, former House of Representatives Speaker and now frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, has agreed to attend.
Mr Gingrich praised Mr Trump yesterday during a visit to the billionaire at his Trump Tower in New York.
“Donald Trump is a great showman,” Mr Gingrich said at a press conference afterwards in Mr Trump’s presence. “He’s also a great businessman.”
A spokeswoman for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was noncommittal on the debate, saying the campaign team was “reviewing” the Trump offer. While possibly reluctant, Mr Romney would be hard-pressed to ignore the event if Mr Gingrich continues to surge in the opinion polls, threatening his position in the looming party caucuses and primary votes.
Two of the seven serious candidates still remaining in the Republican race, Texas congressman Ron Paul and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, refused point-blank to take part in Mr Trump’s debate.
Mr Paul said Mr Trump – known for his catch-phrase, “You’re fired!” on his reality TV show – would turn any Republican debate into “an unwanted circus-like atmosphere”. He questioned why candidates such as Mr Gingrich were marching to Mr Trump’s office to be anointed.
Mr Huntsman went further, saying: “I’m not going to kiss his ring and I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy.”
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